Washington (8-16-1) at Los Angeles (13-10-1)

Cloudy Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 58° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Sat Dec 6, 2003
  • TV: Comc, FSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With Ziggy Palffy back from injury and the acquisition of Martin Straka, the Los Angeles Kings hope they can continue to be a factor in the Pacific Division.

Los Angeles looks for its fourth win in five games when it concludes a two-game homestand with a matchup against the Washington Capitals.

Palffy was activated from the injured list Thursday after missing five games after a puck hit him in the face Nov. 22 at Colorado. He was placed on a line with Jozef Stumpel and Straka, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

The line quickly got results as Straka ended a 14-game goal-scoring drought, helping the Kings beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 to move into first place in the Pacific.

“We have Ziggy and Stumpy and some other great guys on this team,” Straka said. “Stumpy is a very smart player, and I’m going to try to feed off him. He moves the puck and he has great vision on the ice.”

Straka, 31, was the NHL’s fourth-leading scorer in 2000-01 with the Penguins. He played in his only All-Star game that season and finished with 35 goals and 95 points—both career highs. He has 187 goals during his career, including 30 in his first full NHL season in 1993-94.

“We’ll take all the goal scorers we can get,” Kings defenseman Aaron Miller said. “He fit right in with all the Czechs and Slovaks. He’s a talented player who can put the puck in the net, and it didn’t take him long to show that.”

Washington saw its first winning streak of the season come to an end on Thursday with a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The Caps had beaten the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders in the first two games of their five-game road trip.

Two other streaks were also snapped for Washington as Robert Lang (16 games) and Jaromir Jagr (12 games) carried lengthy scoring streaks into the game.

“We weren’t effective offensively or defensively,” Washington coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We gave in to the fact that it was going to be a difficult opponent to fight back against. That’s discouraging to a coach because we’ve done some good things lately.”

STANDINGS (through Dec. 4): Capitals - 18 points, 5th place, 10 PB, Southeast Division. Kings - 28 points, 1st place, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Capitals - Lang, 14 goals and 33 points; Sergei Gonchar, 22 assists; Jason Doig, 48 PIM. Kings - Alexander Frolov, 7 goals; Palffy, 20 assists and 26 points; Sean Avery, 94 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 4): Capitals - Power play: 20.0 percent (23 for 115), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.8 percent (96 for 116), 22nd. Kings - Power play: 14.1 percent (18 for 128), 22nd. Penalty killing: 77.8 percent (84 for 108), 28th.

GOALTENDERS: Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (7-15-1, 2.96 GAA); Rastislav Stana (1-1-0, 2.59). Kings - Roman Cechmanek (11-9-1, 4 SO, 2.19); Cristobal Huet (2-2-0, 2, 1.62).

SEASON SERIES: Kings, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 10; Kings, 3-2. At Washington, Frolov and Brad Chartrand assisted on Trent Klatt’s two goals, and Avery also scored as the Kings ended a four-game road trip with seven of a possible eight points.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Capitals - 5-10-1-0 on the road; Kings - 6-6-1-0 at home.

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